How to say “Welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia – Phrases and Gestures

If you know how to say “Welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia, then everything would be easier. Imagine that you can welcome you friend, or your Indonesian friend to your hotel or wherever you stay. Thus, welcoming people in Bahasa Indonesia is quite important for you to learn.

Indonesian people like to say welcome to any foreigner. You have no idea how glad they would be if one foreigner can say welcome too in their native language.

However, not simply in Indonesia. Having the capability welcome individuals in their own dialects breaks the social ice. Doing as such may separate you from the guests who think just about modest shopping or regular attractions. Demonstrating an enthusiasm for the general population dependably goes far. In the case of nothing else, knowing how to state “Welcome” in the nearby dialect would challenge you to interface with a certain place a bit more.

But, relax, you don’t have to memorize all the words in Bahasa Indonesia. Dissimilar to numerous other Asian dialects, Indonesian isn’t tonal. That kills a considerable measure of dissatisfaction while talking. The way of pronunciation is also amazing. Plus, there’s another reward: Indonesia utilizes the 26-letter Latin alphabetical system, just like the local English speakers. You may incidentally take in a couple of new words just by perusing some signs.

About the Language

Bahasa Indonesia — the official dialect of Indonesia — is generally simple to learn contrasted with other tonal Asian dialects, for example, Thai or Mandarin Chinese. Words are articulated much in how they are spelled, except for “c” being articulated as “ch.”

Not at all like in English, vowels follow these basic — and unsurprising — elocution rules:

  • A – ah
  • E – uh
  • I – ee
  • O – oh
  • U – ew

Note: Many words In Indonesian were adjusted from Dutch (Indonesia was a Dutch state until picking up freedom in 1945. Asbak (ashtray) and handuk (towel) are two cases of the numerous things that are a piece of Bahasa Indonesia.

Saying “Welcome”

How to say “Welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia? Greetings in Indonesia don’t necessarily follow any kind of formal form of respect as in some other Asian languages. This is the way to say “Welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia.

Welcome : Selamat Datang (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat dat-ahng”)

The word “Welcome” can also be followed by another phrase according to the place the person is welcomed. Here is some examples.

  • Welcome home : Selamat datang di rumah (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat dat-ahng dee roo-mah”)
  • Welcome to Indonesia : Selamat datang di Indonesia (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat dat-ahng dee Indonesia”)
  • Welcome to the office : Selamat datang di rumah (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat dat-ahng dee kahn-tor”)

Not at all like when saying “Welcome” in Vietnamese and different dialects, you won’t generally need to stress over a mind boggling arrangement of honorifics (titles of regard) while tending to individuals of changing age. The best approach to state “Welcome” in Indonesian is fundamentally the same for all individuals paying little mind to age and societal position.

Saying “Welcome” can actually be followed by another form of greetings, such as the greeting with a regard of time.

All greetings in Bahasa Indonesia begin with selamat (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat”). 


  • Good Day: Selamat siang (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat see-ahng”)
  • Good Morning: Selamat pagi (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat pah-gee”)
  • Good Afternoon: Selamat sore (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat sor-ee”)
  • Good Evening: Selamat malam (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat mah-lahm”)

Note: Sometimes “selamat petang” (pronounced “suh-lah-mat puh-tang”) is used for “good evening” in a very formal situations. This is used in an informal situasion in Bahasa Malaysia only.

Of course, there are sometimes an unclear timing in which one can be confused how to greet. It is natural when some greet in a wrong timing, the opponent will respond with the right one. Not only for foreign, it also happens for the local Indonesian. Sometimes timing differs between regions.

  • Selamat pagi: From the morning until around 11 p.m. or noon
  • Selamat siang: Early day until around 3 p.m.
  • Selamat sore: From 3 p.m. until around 5 p.m. (depending on daylight condition)
  • Selamat malam: After dark

If you’re close enough to someone, you can say goodbye when he/she is going to sleep. It’s simplytelling someone goodnight, use: selamat tidur (pronounced: “suh-lah-mat tee-dure”). Only use selamat tidur when someone is retiring for the night.

Shaking Hands

Indonesian handshake won’t be a firm grip, rather just be a simple touch. After the handshake, you can put the hand on your chest (the heart) as a symbol of respect.

Fortunately, you don’t need to bow or do something like any other Asians do, such as in Japan or Cambodia. 

Asking How Someone Is Doing

You can develop your welcome by asking how somebody is getting along. The best approach to ask is “apa kabar” which signifies “how are you?” Interestingly, the strict interpretation is “what’s new/what is the news?”

The right answer is baik (pronounced: “bicycle”) which signifies “well” or “great.” Sometimes it is said twice (baik, baik). Ideally whomever you are asking doesn’t reply, tidak bagus or tidak baik — “not great”, it means they’re just fine. If they answer with saya sakit, look out: they are literally sick.

In the event that somebody asks you “apa kabar?” The best reaction is by saying ”kabar baik” (I am fine/well).  In another event, “Kabar baik” likewise also signifies “Good news.” But, don’t worry as Indonesian people will not confuse the two.

Saying Goodbye

Now that you know how to say “Welcome” in Indonesia, knowing how to say a proper goodbye will close the interaction on the same friendly note.

When telling a someone goodbye, you can use the following phrases:

  • If you are the one leaving while other stay: Selamat tinggal (pronounced: “teen-gal”)
  • If you are staying while other leave: Selamat jalan (pronounced: “jal-lan”)

However, the above sayings are quite uncommon, even for the local as it is too formal.

If there’s possibility to see each other again, then use something like this:

  • Sampai jumpa: (Pronounced: “sahm-pai joom-pah”) See you later
  • Jumpa lagi: (Pronounced: “joom-pah log-ee”) See you again / meet again

Well, that’s how to say “Welcome” in Bahasa Indonesia. We hope you learn it well!